Okay, perhaps the headline is a tad out of context. By America, I mean a certain group of Americans, by pressing I mean what to do over a weekend, and by social I mean I recommend an activity that will be a boon to society.

So, by above definitions, this article will be about whiskey and cigars. As middle aged American men, and some superior women, wonder what to do over a midwinter’s weekend, I thought I’d suggest the tools for a convivial time with the proper pals.

Also, my recent Woke Whiskey piece was much lauded by my drunken associates and, you know, sometimes sane people get tired of writing about politics.

Who am I to offer such counsel? Well, on top of my editorial duties and political contracts I also occupy a very part time position at a local wine and spirits establishment that also sells cigars.

As such, I get my booze and cigars at cost, get to taste various alcoholic offerings on a free and regular basis, and have the amusing opportunity to talk about whiskey more than several times a day while at work. Ergo, my interest is not only that of the gifted amateur. Yes, after several decades of whiskey and cigar consumption, I’ve finally turned pro. On a personal note, I like my whiskey smooth and my cigars not too strong. I want a team effort there, not a conquest by either of the items.

First let’s define levels of interest and experience. If you’re new to tasty brown liquid and tobacco fun then you want to crawl before you walk. Thus, with a pinch of water and an optional ice cube, a reliable and relatively inexpensive whiskey like Elijah Craig or Woodford Reserve will do. Both are smooth and not harsh to the untrained tongue. Pour about two fingers and sip them. It’ll make a cold day much warmer.

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As for cigars, you’re going to want something complimentary, not a harsh weed that will overcome the whiskey. I’d go, for the beginner, with a Perdomo Champagne in a robusto or toro size. That’ll be about a 45 minute smoke and the stick will go well with the hooch.

For the above average connoisseur who wants to take a step up from beginner, let’s go with a Nulu or Uncle Nearest bourbon in tandem with a Padron 1964 Anniversario, sticking with a robusto. My preference would be for a Connecticut wrapper.

Nulu is a relatively new whiskey of a 117 ABV, that tastes like a 105. I’ve tasted a store barrel select and it has a particularly nice warmth at the end, which followed a caramel and vanilla opening. Uncle Nearest is a tad smoother, a lower ABV, and also has an interesting backstory. The Padron 1964 will compliment either.

To step it up to a high level for the experienced reprobate, I’d choose a Russell’s 10 whiskey and an Arturo Fuente Opus X. Both are sheer pleasure and match perfectly with each other. Are there many other whiskeys and cigars that would bring you much delight? Of course. But the aforementioned choices are good starting points for specific levels of whiskey and cigar enthusiasts. Have a good weekend.